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Newsletter #858: The “Good Things” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

This issue is all about smart ideas organizations, brands, and campaigns do to add some good in the world. What to think about:

1. Make it a mystery
2. Go where people need you
3. Show off their honesty
4. Check it out: Cash Cats

1. Make it a mystery

Add some surprise and anticipation to your business with a little mystery. For inspiration here, check out what the “Do Good Bus” does. This mobile volunteer unit travels around L.A. helping people in need — but with this twist: You don’t know what you’re doing until you get on the bus. This makes every trip an adventure, and co-founder Rebecca Pontius says the mystery removes preconceived notions, judgments, and anxiety for volunteers

The lesson: Look for easy, fun ways to keep something a secret, to surprise them, or to make it a mystery. People love talking about this stuff.

Learn more: GOOD

2. Go where people need you

Instead of blowing your budget on a big ad or expensive sponsorship, try doing something good with those resources that fans will love you for. CamelBak, for example, goes to festivals around the country during the summer and sets up a booth where they’ll fill anyone’s water containers (from any brand). No matter what time of day it is, they’ve got thirsty festival-goers lined up, comparing water packs, talking about the brand, and chatting with CamelBak reps as they fill up.

The lesson: If your ad or sponsorship isn’t thrilling people like this, you need to try again.

3. Show off their honesty

Sometimes a great way to do good is to simply show your customers how great they already are. Australia’s NAB bank did a series of experiments to do just this. They had a barista intentionally give back more change than she should, they planted wallets in a public park, and they dropped $20 bills on a busy street. The whole project — which was part of their campaign arguing that honest Australians deserved an honest credit card — resulted in three videos showing the consistent kindness of complete strangers, and each has been shared thousands of times on Twitter and Facebook.

The lesson: Your fans, talkers, and customers are naturally good. Sometimes you just need to remind them to make them feel great (and to talk about you).

Learn more: NAB

4. Check it out: Cash Cats

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